Walking down the proverbial aisle whether it’s a sandy beach on a tropical island paradise, a traditional church or any special place in the world that the person you’ve promised to marry is waiting for you, is generally considered one of the most momentous occasions of life. Marriage is a huge, hopefully, lifelong commitment that isn’t taken lightly. And a wedding day traditionally reflects that.

It’s a day most couples save and plan for, for a very long time so that it is as memorable and as true an interpretation of them as a couple as possible. Which is why having a wedding sponsored and paid for by companies and brands with no affiliation to who you are as a couple is an unusual way to celebrate finding the love of your life.

However, for celebrities those same, shall we say, “love” rules, don’t seem to apply. Instead of posting a belated wedding day snap on Instagram from a dreamy honeymoon location — because there’s no time to post during the actual wedding, you’re living your best life — with a loved-up caption and the #love hashtag, celebrities are posting exhaustively before the wedding, during the wedding, after the wedding and it’s not #love they’re tagging it’s #sponsored.

This sponsored hashtag is starting to become the new normal for celebrity weddings and all the other events surrounding the nuptials from bachelorette parties to pre-wedding dinners even to the honeymoon. Does it signal the end of romance? Probably, because isn’t a wedding about love not a chance to make money?

In the past, celebrities have made money from their weddings by selling their wedding photos exclusively to publications, but that was like a regular payday for them — it’s part of being a celebrity — the public wants to see inside celebrities lives and they’re providing that (at a fee). But getting paid to post your wedding on social media ensuring all the sponsors logos are visible in every shot is next level, it’s an advertisement aiming to turn that particular celebrity’s fans into paying customers.

Take the 2018 wedding of fashion influencer Chiara Ferragni to rapper Fedez (a.k.a Federico Leonardo Lucia), every inch was sponsored and broadcast on the world’s feeds for the duration of the wedding festival, starting with the #sponsored plane from Alitalia to transport wedding guests to the wedding location in Noto, Italy.

Not one minute of the wedding was intimate or private and every opportunity for sponsorship was taken, from the sponsored plane to the three custom Dior dresses Ferragni wore over the wedding weekend, which were undoubtedly gifted to the influencer by the brand.

And sure enough, the sponsored wedding was a huge commercial success. Ferragni’s 16 million Instagram followers loved everything about the wedding with Launchmetrics  reporting the three-day wedding generated “a total audience-driven Media Impact Value of US$36 million across online and sparked over 67 million interactions.” Launchmetrics further found that Ferragni’s wedding provided “31 per cent of the global MIV [Media Impact Value]” for Dior. Ferragni really earned her money, on her wedding day, of all days.

Another celebrity couple jumping with both feet onto the sponsored wedding bandwagon is Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nick Jonas, during their recent multi-day wedding in India, Chopra Jonas shared beautiful wedding snaps on her socials which included links to shop the brands who had sponsored her. A particularly romantic image she posted of her and Jonas turned out to be a sponsored post for Amazon’s wedding gift registry business.

Tiffany & Co. also sponsored part of the wedding celebrations by way of Chopra Jonas’s bachelorette party which was held at Tiffany & Co.’s Blue Box Cafe in New York. Quintessential American fashion label Ralph Lauren also booked a sponsor spot at the wedding with Chopra Jonas posting a wedding picture of the couple’s extended family with the caption: “This is us. My family… Everyone in head to toe @ralphlauren — thank you we love you!!” 

And the list doesn’t stop there, Forest Essentials (a luxury beauty company) got a shout out from Chopra Jonas for creating “personalised luxury Ayurveda sets” to gift their family and friends. Elit Vodka sponsored the drinks portion of Jonas’s bachelor party weekend, which paid off for the beverage company in spades when Jonas’s Instagram post featuring the drinks brand scored over one million likes.

Glee star Lea Michele also recently scored a #sponsored bachelorette weekend away. For the small price of sharing every single moment of her pre-wedding weekend in Hawaii with her girlfriends, we’re lead to believe Michele had one of the best weekends of her life according to her posts, with thanks going to travel site Booking.com for sponsoring the weekend away. Enforced fun or actual fun? We’ll never know.

Just like we’ll never know if having a wedding that is basically a work conference truly is the happiest day of your life.

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